The new exhibition of the Historical Society of La Jolla will feature works of art inspired by science


Using science to inspire art and art to bring scientific research to the masses, the Historical Society of La Jolla will open the “Trifecta: Art, Science, Patron” exhibition on Saturday, September 25.

The showcase, curated by Chi Essary, features works by 10 regional artists who have explored research at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla and let science inspire art.

“There are artists who are interested in trying to illustrate some aspect of the research, but more often it is a more poetic expression on the work that would lead the viewer to ask more questions and want to deepen this research” said Lauren Lockhart, executive director of the La Jolla Historical Society. “The word ‘boss’ is included because private philanthropy has enabled cutting-edge research in biological studies, and this is very evident at the Salk Institute. … Through private philanthropy, these scientists can follow an urgent line of questioning or research that could take much longer to gain government support. I like that it encourages risk taking and experimental research.

Each of the scientists holds a Joan Klein and Irwin Mark Jacobs Senior Scientific Research Chair. The program began in 2008 to encourage donors to create endowed chairs to support Salk scientists for their contributions to biological research. For every $ 2 million in donor contributions to a chair, the Jacobs added $ 1 million to reach the $ 3 million required for a full endowment.

Essary has curated other exhibitions inspired by art and science, and when it comes to this one, the focus on philanthropy has stood out.

“Scientists spend a lot of money writing grants for projects that aren’t funded,” she said. “So every time someone supports science it is a gift for humanity. The research underway at Salk is changing our understanding of biology.

“Fountainhead, 2020,” which will be featured in the La Jolla Historical Society’s “Trifecta: Art, Science, Patron” exhibit, features household cleaning products, ceramics, personalized neon lights and personalized electronics.

(Philipp Scholz Rittermann)

To create the exhibit, the artists spent an afternoon with the scientists in their lab or using their technology and discussing their research.

“Artists and scientists both reach the ether in different ways to come up with something that has never been done before, and for different reasons,” Essary said. “These two types of minds go into their studios and their labs and explore something as far as they can take it.

“Scientists have a moral obligation to find facts and share them in an understandable way. For an artist, they step into this other world and create things based on history, science, their experience and their reactions. It comes in different ways, depending on the artist.

For example, two artists (and brothers) participating in the exhibition worked with a scientist who studies the cellular role in aging. The artists used a doll nicknamed “Miss Mito” for the mitochondrial cells, and aged it in a frame that resembles a cell.

Another artist, working with a scientist whose research focuses on Alzheimer’s disease, made mirrors that gradually distort the viewer’s vision “so that when you see yourself, you see the mind warp,” said Essary.

“It’s a fun way to get people to talk about science,” Essary said. “Artists have this dialogue with the public that scientists don’t. That’s why it’s such a good thing for scientists to work with artists. Not everyone is going to buy a science journal, but everyone can see this exhibit. “

This unnamed coin to feature in

This unnamed piece which will be presented in the “Trifecta: Art, Science, Patron” exhibition of the Historical Society of La Jolla interprets research on Alzheimer’s disease.

(Philipp Scholz Rittermann)

Lockhart said the Historical Society’s exhibition program has been “focused on using our unique site, our residence, and the history of La Jolla to talk about the current way of life here.” The Salk Institute is obviously an incredible piece of architecture, an incredible resource that just happens to be housed right here in our neighborhood. It’s a starting point for having those additional conversations with contemporary art.

Because art media and scientific subjects are diverse, “I think people will feel very relevant to their personal lives, their family history, and this will make them think more deeply about the research going on behind the scenes to help make some progress. in those areas, ”Lockhart said.

This will be the Historical Society’s first exhibition under the direction of Lockhart, who began as executive director on August 30.

“I am delighted to come to an exhibit that illustrates a lot of things that attracted me about this organization,” said Lockhart. “It’s interdisciplinary, there are so many different entry points for those interested in art, science, La Jolla history, etc., and I’m really excited about the quality and the depth of work of all the regional artists who are presented. “

‘Trifecta: Art, Science, Patron’

When: from Saturday September 25 to Sunday January 16; open to the public from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday
Or: Wisteria Cottage Gallery of La Jolla Historical Society, 780 Prospect Street.
Cost: To free
Information: (858) 459-5335, ??


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